Can HBS Become Synonymous with Caring?: Hundreds of HBS Students Volunteer Throughout Boston

HBS Students Show they CARE - Photo by Michael Son (HBS 2012)

In a recent article in The Harbus, HBS student Colin Barry (OB) wrote, “MBAs must stop bleeding our world dry,” a view which is more common than many would like to admit. But is it possible to dispel this view? And can HBS become synonymous with an organization that actually cares about the rest of the world?

When Sebastien D’Incau (OJ) first began discussing an HBS-wide day of service “to bring the HBS community together for a day of reflection, caring and fun for us all, and to get out of the bubble for a day and make a small impact in our communities”, he expectations were measured.  D’Incau described, “If we got 50 students to volunteer, it would be a success.”

D’Incau as well as co-conspirators Sarah Dowdall cartier santos 100 replica (OJ) and Emmanuel Coque (OJ) led efforts to recruit the student body, raise donations to fund the event, and organize specific projects with each charitable organization.  Coque, in describing their mission, said, “HBS SA CARES is meant to show that a little time can make a difference in the lives of people who need it the most. We believe that ‘caring’ is a value that each HBS graduate should stand for.”

The final product was a brilliantly organized day in which hundreds of HBS students, many more than expected, spent their Saturday mornings volunteering their time to aid some of Boston’s finest charitable organizations, including Cradles to Crayons, IMEC, and United Way’s Youth Venture Program.

Was HBS SA CARES successful?

According to, D’Incau, “Feedback from partner organizations and students was outstanding.”  D’Incau highlighted two moments as exemplary of the spirit of the day cartier roadster replica.  The first is an EC in Section A who had to pitch a business plan in the morning, but felt so strongly about volunteering that he hopped on a train to Dorchester and biked to his volunteer site.

Tutoring students at HBS SA Cares 2012 - Photo by Michael Son (HBS 2012)

The second piece of feedback came from a student at St. Frederick’s school, where HBS students were tutoring, who said, “I wish they could come every day – they are so much cooler than our teachers – we can talk about everything with them.”

What does it mean for HBS?

Was the day of service called “HBS CARES”, “HBS SA CARES”, or just “SA CARES”? Depending on the information source, the answer to that supposedly simple question differs drastically, and with powerful implications of how HBS will be seen in the future. Volunteer Ben Story (OB), “The only way for this [project] to be sustainable is with the support of the administration.” Story further described that at Disney, his previous employer, full time staff was dedicated to ensuring opportunities for other employees to engage in projects similar to HBS SA CARES.

To make HBS SA CARES a permanent institution at HBS, D’Incau advises “putting a passionate team in place and on-boarding them well, ensuring the SA is on-board and makes HBS SA CARES a priority for next year; continuing to grow the relationships we build with our sponsors and partner organizations; and working with the administration to make sure HBS SA CARES becomes part of our school culture a la Holidazzle [an annual Holiday party] or the HBS Show.”

Coque further described, “We hope that this year’s success and the awareness raised among all constituencies: students, partners, staff and faculty will make it easier to embrace the HBS CARES name.”

Students paint a Hallway at St. Patrick's School

Did It Matter

Time at these organizations was limited, leaving Miguel Ruiz (OD) to wonder, “I’m not sure if what I did really made a difference.”

However perhaps this is exactly the response that the event was designed to encourage.  Coque described, “I have personally not been very involved in charities before. I assume I was not the only one. I have realized  through this event how good it feels to give back and help others. I hope many others have felt the same way.”

Always thinking bigger, D’Incau has a few ideas for the next HBS SA CARES event, such as “involving the faculty and the HBS admin staff to come volunteer with us and engaging the alumni club of Boston…. The sky may very well be the limit.”